31 January 2012

Ali Abunimah vs James Woolsey

The Electronic Intifada | By Ali Abunimah | 00.00.2012 | NEDERLANDS

The Phildelphia Inquirer today publishes opposing op-eds on the upcoming boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) conference at the University of Pennsylvania one by Ali Abunimah and the other by former CIA chief James Woolsey and Jonathan Schanzer of the pro-Israel neocon group Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

In their op-ed, Woolsey and Schanzer allege that the conference:

will be an exercise in disinformation and propaganda, a call for political and economic warfare, and an attempt to foment hatred of Israel. That is obviously bad for Israelis. It is - perhaps less obviously - bad for Palestinians as well.

It goes downhill from there, with a litany of talking points about Iran and Syria intended to distract attention from Israel as well as ludicrous claims about Israel’s commitment to a “two-state solution.”

Abunimah’s op-ed takes on the overheated rhetoric that has preceded the conference for weeks. It begins:

I am coming to the University of Pennsylvania this week to incite violence against the State of Israel - pro-Israel groups and commentators have contended - and, along with hundreds of students and other speakers who will attend the 2012 National Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference, to engage in an “act of warfare.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, we are coming together to push forward an inclusive movement that supports nonviolent action to promote the human rights of the Palestinian people, because only full respect for these rights can lead to peace. Today, millions of Palestinians live without basic rights under Israeli rule. This intolerable situation is at the root of problems that affect the whole world.

Read the rest.


Keynote Speaker:

Ali Abunimah is a Palestinian American journalist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada. A graduate of Princeton University and University of Chicago, Abunimah has contributed to many publications, including The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times. He has also served as Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Arab American Action Network, and is a fellow at the Palestine Center.


Please note that speakers do not necessarily support the BDS movement.

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American journalist whose works appear regularly in Al Jazeera English, the LA Times, the Huffington Post, and Mondoweiss, among other publications. He is currently a graduate student of Public Policy at Harvard

Helena Cobban is a veteran writer and researcher on Middle Eastern affairs and other global issues. From 1990 through 2007, she wrote a regular column in The Christian Science Monitor, and from 1993 through 2006 she wrote a regular column in Al-Hayat. Four of her seven books have been about Arab-Israeli issues. In 2010, Ms. Cobban founded a groundbreaking publishing company, Just World Books, a majority of whose titles concern the Middle East.

Nancy Kricorian, who is the campaign manager for the Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott, has been on the national staff of CODEPINK Women for Peace since 2003. Kricorian has published two novels with a third forthcoming in 2013.

Noura Erakat is a Palestinian human rights attorney, Georgetown University professor, and activist. She has served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives and helped to initiate and organize Arab Women Arising for Justice, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, and other national formations. For many years, Erakat has worked to seed and empower BDS campaigns across the nation, most notably the one at UC Berkeley.

Bill Fletcher, Jr is a Senior Scholar for the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC and editor of BlackCommentator.com. He is a labor, racial justice and international activist and was a key player in both the anti-Apartheid and US Civil Rights movements.

Max Blumenthal is an American journalist and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party.” Blumenthal is a writing fellow at the Nation Institute and Senior Writer for Al Akhbar English.

Anna Baltzer is a Jewish American author and activist Palestinian human rights activist. She serves on many committees, including the Middle East committee of the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom and the Board of Directors of The Research Journalism Initiative.

Susan Abulhawa is a Palestinian American and an award-winning author. Her debut novel, Mornings in Jenin, is an international bestseller soon to be adapted as a film.  Susan is also the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, an NGO dedicated to upholding the Right to Play for Palestinian children.

Dr. J. Kehaulani Kauanui is associate professor of American studies and anthropology at Wesleyan University. Kauanui serves on the advisory board of the USACBI (US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel). She is the author of Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity (Duke University Press, 2008). Kauanui is a co-founder of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, as well as the producer and host of a public affairs radio program, “Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond” that is syndicated across ten U.S. states through the Pacifica Radio network. Her research areas include: settler colonialism; comparative indigeneity; anarchism and the state; and decolonization & nation-building.

Remi Kanazi is an American born Palestinian poet and author of two books, “Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine,” and “Poets for Palestine.” He is co-founder of Poeticinjustice.net, an online resource of writing on Palestinian life and politics.

Pamela Olson, a Stanford physics graduate from small town Oklahoma, worked as a journalist in Palestine for two years, then took a job at a Defense Department think tank in a doomed attempt to “change Washington from the inside” before quitting in order to write full-time. She is the author of an unorthodox memoir called Fast Times in Palestine.

Kristin Szremski began her career as a copy editor on an English-language newspaper in Warsaw, Poland, published by a group of Solidarnosc activists. Since then she has spent more than 20 years as an investigative reporter and editor. Her work has appeared in print or online at Al Jazeera; Zycia Warszawa, one of Poland’s national newspapers of record; the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Dallas Morning News, among other news outlets.She has also worked as a correspondent for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and the Chicago Tribune. She is a member of several professional associations, including the National Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists,and the Association of Women Journalists.

Philip Weiss, a Harvard graduate, and self-described “anti-Zionist” Jewish writer, is the co-editor of the acclaimed online news site, “Mondoweiss.” This site, dedicated to the “war of ideas in the Middle East,” is a widely read source of alternative coverage and debate on the region. Weiss is also the author of several books.

Rebecca Vilkomerson is the Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a national grassroots movement which seeks to promote peace, human rights, and “full equality for all people of Palestine and Israel.” She lived in Israel for several years, and has contributed to a number of publications.

Rev. Graylan Hagler is the Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. Hagler has been a long time advocate for racial, economic, and social justice, and lead the Free South Africa Movement to call for divestiture from the former apartheid regime.

Sherry Wolf is a prominent activist, journalist, and author who focuses on LGBT equality, human rights, and economic justice. In addition to her books, she has contributed to multiple publications, including the Nation, New Politics, and Dissident Voice, and has served as co-editor of the International Socialist Review. 

Dr. Heather Love is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History.” She has contributed to multiple publications related to sexuality, politics, and women’s studies.

Dr. Dalit Baum is a co-founder of “Who Profits from the Occupation”, an activist research initiative of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel. She also teaches at Haifa University and the Beit Berl College in Israel, focusing on militarism and the global economy from a feminist perspective.

Dr. Sarah Schulman is a novelist, playwright, journalist, and professor of English at City University of New York (College of Staten Island). Her awards include the 2009 Kessler Award for her ”Sustained Contribution to LGBT Studies” from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two American Library Association Book Awards. Professor Schulman is on the Advisory Board of Jewish Voice for Peace and is a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. She is the author of countless books and articles, including a groundbreaking New York Times op-ed on the “pinkwashing” of Israeli human rights abuses.

We are Nabi Saleh

The Electronic Intifada | By naam | 30.01.2012 | NEDERLANDS

In the early summer of 2011, a group of three friends, two from Belgium and one from France, decided to pitch their resources together to make a documentary about the village of Nabi Saleh. Jan Beddegenoodts, Niel Iwens, and Rachel De Plaen spent months filming the inhabitants of the tiny village as they went about their daily lives, in addition to the weekly protests on Fridays.

Says De Plaen:

“The choice of Nabi Saleh was made by Jan. When we met together, he told me that he wanted to make a documentary on Palestine with his friend Niel so we brainstormed [about themes] and came up with Resistance and so on. Jan went to Nabi Saleh in June and found that it was an actual example of Palestinian resistance. We fell in love with the village and are really concerned about the situation in Palestine so i guess that the photos, videos and the documentary we put together is a way to show the situation of Palestine in Europe so one [would be inspired] to try to make some change there.”

The trailer for the documentary, called “We Are Nabi Saleh” was finally released on January 26th. Poignantly, the last shot is of the late Mustafa Tamimi, who was murdered in December after an Israeli soldier fired a tear gas canister at his face from a close distance.

Da Plaen hopes the full documentary will be released in April, yet acknowledges that with two of the documentary makers busy with a full time job, it’ll be difficult but they’re crossing their fingers for it to be out “inshallah before Nakba Day [May 15th].”

For more information, check out their website.

Noorwegen, Koerden, Oeigoeren en terrorisme

Voor het China-bashen schuiven onze politici en media regelmatig de onderdrukte Oeigoeren naar voren. Bij het Turkije-bashen zijn de Koerden de onderdrukte bevolkingsgroep.

Hiermee ontken ik niet dat er minderheden in landen worden onderdrukt, maar dat we ook met propaganda te maken hebben wordt duidelijk uit het feit dat er vandaag berichten in de pers verschijnen dat er in Noorwegen twee terroristen met banden met al-Qaida zijn veroordeeld voor het beramen van een aanslag op Jyllands-Posten (de krant van de anti-islam cartoons), echter melden dat het om een Oeigoer en een Koerd gaat is voor sommige media een probleem. Opvallend is dat de Telegraaf en PowNed dat niet hebben.

"een Chinese moslimachtergrond"

Volgens de NRC, die klaarblijkelijk wél de etnische afkomst heeft onderzocht, gaat het bij Mikael Davud om iemand met "een Chinese moslimachtergrond", en over de achtergrond van de andere veroordeelde, de Koerd Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, wordt niets vermeldt. Ook de Volkskrant meldt de Koerd niet.
Persbureau Novum (Nu.nl) en het staatsorgaan NOS melden in het geheel de afkomst niet.

De bedoeling is natuurlijk om het blazoen van onderdrukte bevolkingsgroepen die wij politiek kunnen gebruiken en inzetten tegen bepaalde landen schoon te houden. Hetzelfde hebben we zien gebeuren met de Iraanse Volksmoejahedien (Mujahedin-e-Khalq aka PMOI aka MEK aka National Council of Resistance of Iran), een terroristische sekte, voormalige collaborateurs van Saddam Hoessein, die bomaanslagen pleegt in Iran. Ook de SP sympathiseert met de sekte (deze keer in het lichtblauw) , en noemen het "Iraanse ballingen" en een "internationale verzetsbeweging".

In 2006 subsidieerde Den Haag dit soort anti-Iran platforms met miljoenen euro's. Niet verwonderlijk na een motie ingediend door Hans van Baalen (VDD) en Farah Karimi (GL). De eerste suggereert al jarenlang dat Iran een kernbom heeft en dat het land gebombardeerd moet worden. De laatste is een voormalig lid van deze Iraanse terroristen.

Voor de leider van een andere Iraanse terroristische groepering ("mensenrechtenactivist" Al Mansouri van de Ahwaz Liberation Organization, hier met lintje) stond Amnesty Nederland meerdere keren te demonstreren bij de Iraanse ambassade, met nota bene Geert Wilders (en de SP).

Meer informatie over de Iraanse Volksmoejahedien:
Loop met mijn voeten, spreek met mijn tong
De Mujahedin komt bij u thuis
Statement on Responses to Human Rights Watch Report on Abuses by the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO)


29 January 2012

The present stands no chance against the past

The Independent | By Robert Fisk | 28.01.2012 | NEDERLANDS

The Palestinians are not only, it seems, an "invented people" – courtesy of Newt Gingrich – but the only Arabs on the Mediterranean not to enjoy a Spring or an Awakening or even a Winter.

And Benjamin Netanyahu has been boasting that he was right about Egypt and Tunisia and Libya. He did not welcome their supposedly democratic revolutions last year – and who, he has been asking, blames him now for his silence? And the Israeli Prime Minister's silence, I notice, continues over Syria. Save for the accusation that the Assad regime was involved in the attempt by Palestinian refugees to cross the border via Golan last year – Netanyahu must be right about that – and a passing comment in June that "the young people of Syria deserve a better future", that's it. Israel, the beacon of democracy in the Middle East, has nothing more to say.

For some reason, we – in the press, on television, in our parliaments – are not discussing this silence. But, as Professor Ian Buruma pointed out recently, the political heirs of "deeply racist traditions" are the new champions of the Jewish state, whose policies now owe more to 19th-century ethnic chauvinism than to Zionism's socialist roots. All kinds of strange people now give their support to Israel. It is disturbing to note that the Oslo mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, supported the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank. That's not Israel's fault. But Republicans in America are now warning of an Islamic Sharia law takeover in the US. It's an idea fostered, according to The New York Times, by a 56-year-old Hasidic Jewish lawyer called David Yerushalmi and his Society of Americans for National Existence, who now has former CIA director James Woolsey and Republicans Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann echoing his views. The last two have actually signed a pledge "to reject Islamic law".

For what? Israel, which in the past could analyse events rationally, if not always correctly, appears, too, to have lost its ability to grasp events, its Prime Minister hiding behind self-delusional speeches when he should be understanding the typhoon sweeping across the Arab states around him. People who will no longer tolerate dictators are not going to accept peace treaties with an ever more expansionist Israel – 2,000 more colonisers' homes, Netanyahu decided last autumn, would be the latest punishment for the Palestinians who dare to demand statehood.

Obama is also silent. When Netanyahu and the king of Saudi Arabia could line up to plead with Obama to save Mubarak, you knew something had gone terribly wrong. Gideon Levy, one of the finest of Israeli journalists, writes with biting eloquence of his government's folly, its failure to see that Arab democracy is a cause for good, not bad, that its relationship with the United States is – in a grim and almost colonial way – even more dangerous to Israel. And, all the while, the settlements continue. Which is why the Palestinians will not resume peace talks with Israel under the grubby neutrality of the United States.

Liberal Jews in America are ever more outraged at this phenomenon. They have often seen something faintly fascist about the right in Israel. Indeed, I have a letter beside me as I write, sent to The New York Times on 2 December 1948, warning of the visit to the US of the young Menachem Begin whose "Freedom Party", said the letter's authors, was "closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties". Among the authors of this letter was Albert Einstein. Today, brave Israeli leftists like Miko Peled, son of the legendary Israeli General Matti Peled, have been touring the States, trying to warn of the dangers presented by Israel. In a recent speech, he described the fearful start of the bombardment of Gaza on 27 December 2008 (total dead about 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis) as "a date that will forever be etched in our memory as one of the darkest and most shameful days in the long history of the Jewish people".

Now, said Peled, at Silwan just outside East Jerusalem, thousands of Palestinians may be evicted from their homes "so that Israel can build a park to glorify a conquest that took place 3,000 years ago, never mind that not a shred of scientific evidence exists that such a king (David) ever lived, any more than there is evidence the world was created in six days. The past trumps the present in Israel – a state that wants to eliminate the existence of people who live on their land to solidify the myth of a glorious past". Strong stuff indeed.

But is it any surprise that the Palestinians believe this when the president who told them they deserve a state vetoes their demand for statehood at the United Nations, while his country deprives them of millions of dollars for daring to believe him, withdraws its funding from Unesco when it bestows a kind of statehood on the Palestinians – and then remains silent when Israel says it will keep money legally owed to the Palestinians of the West Bank? But since Obama's re-election counts for more than "Palestine", what chance is there of peace in the Middle East? Maybe Israel is ensuring that the past also trumps the present in the United States. If only we could ask the one rabbi Netanyahu chose to quote in his UN speech against Palestinian statehood last year: the very same rabbi who inspired the murderer Baruch Goldstein to kill so many Palestinians 18 years ago.

But, of course, we remain silent.

[emphasis by Hotel Terminus]

Israelische soldaten rijden met tractor over man heen om Palestijnen te stoppen een huis te bouwen op hun eigen (bezette) land

Terwijl Amerikaanse presidentskandidaten om het hardst roepen dat Palestijnen niet bestaan, voor de dollars van de Amerikaanse zionisten en filosemieten, gaat ter plekke de Israëlische terreur tegen de Palestijnse bevolking ongehinderd door.

Injured Palestinian construction worker screams in pain

Mondoweiss/Uruknet | By Philip Weiss | 28.01.2012 | NEDERLANDS

Today is the Sabbath, and I pray with all my heart that all American Zionists see the pictures below and tell me how an ideology of Jewish separatism that has deprived several million Palestinians of any rights can be justified in today's world.

Two days ago a brave and noble Palestinian man, pictured below-- we don't know his name-- was building a house in the occupied West Bank when Israeli soldiers told the Palestinians they could not build on their land. The village is al-Dirat near Hebron-- Area C, under Israeli control.

The man refused to move. The Israeli army drove a tractor over his legs. The tractor belonged to the Palestinians. The Israeli army had seized it. The man was hospitalized. More information is here. The photos are by Hazam Bader of AFP.

Injured construction worker in occupied West Bank

Al-Dirat Village - Jan 25, 2012 Photo by WAFA

Um El-Kheir Home demolition - Jan 25, 2012

IOF On Thursday 24 November 2011 Demolished Four Houses For Palestinians Bedouins Lives Between Bir-Nabala And Biet Hanena Al-Tahta Towns near Ramallah in the Occupied West Bank

25 January 2012

Haditha: het ontbrekende woord is 'oorlogsmisdaad'

In 2005 vermoordde de Amerikaanse marinierscommandant Frank Wuterich met het bevel 'eerst schieten dan vragen' 24 ongewapende Irakezen, waaronder vrouwen, kinderen en bejaarden, als wraak voor het sneuvelen van een collega. Wuterich gaat op drie maanden gevangenis na vrijuit, lezen we vandaag in onze kranten. Hij mag ook in het leger blijven, maar gedegradeerd tot soldaat. Zijn zeven handlangers gingen al eerder vrijuit.

Het ontbrekende woord is: oorlogsmisdaad.

Sergeant Frank Wuterich en zijn advocaat Neil Puckett blij.

Het opzettelijk doden van burgers is volgens het Handvest van de VN, de Conventie van Geneve en de Haagse Akkoorden een oorlogsmisdaad. De details in de zaak zijn schokkend. Vanaf het begin werd er gelogen over de toedracht van de slachting. Uit foto's van de soldaten zelf, en uit een video van een Iraakse student journalistiek zou blijken dat gedode Irakezen niet bij een militaire actie betrokken waren, noch weerstand hadden geboden. De Amerikaanse pers noemde de zaak in 2006, na het schandaal over de Amerikaanse Abu Ghraib gevangenis, vrijwel unaniem de grootste Amerikaanse misdaad in de geschiedenis van de oorlog tegen Irak, en vergeleek het met het bloedbad in My Lai.
Tegelijkertijd sprak men over een zorgvuldig uitgewerkt plan van al-Qaida om het Amerikaanse leger te beschadigen.

Er is veel aandacht van de pers geweest voor de slachting, ook in Nederland, een half jaar nadien, toen de Amerikaanse pers erover begon te schrijven. Maar net als bij de aandacht voor Abu Ghraib, bedekte de zaak talloze andere eenzelfde gevallen van Amerikaanse marteling en slachtingen in Irak. Dat er wel eens oorlogsmisdaden worden gepleegd in een oorlog begrijpt iedere Nederlander wel. Maar niet dat het plegen van zulke misdaden gewoon een kenmerk is van oorlog, door wie dan ook gevoerd. Het sprookje over onze oorlogen dat door de commerciële massamedia zorgvuldig in stand wordt gehouden is dat onze soldaten immer vechten tegen een gevaarlijke bewapende Vijand op een precieze, hoogtechnologische en zelfs beschaafde manier, waarbij burgerslachtoffers zo veel mogelijk worden vermeden. En wanneer het niet zo blijkt, noemen we dat een incident, uitgevoerd door een paar rotte appels. Maar de werkelijkheid op het slagveld is een andere: het is een totale chaos zonder ethische of morele grenzen waarbij doodsangst, woede, haat, racisme en sadisme de boventoon voeren.

Maar dat mag niemand in Nederland weten, en zeker niet wanneer het gaat om een door onze regering gesteunde oorlog. Daarom lezen we vanmorgen in onze kranten niet dat het 'incident' in Haditha een vreselijke oorlogsmisdaad is geweest die de VS weigert te bestraffen.

De NOS publiceert een kort berichtje over het 'incident' waarin elke context ontbreekt. Alsof de "slachting" (dat weer wel) een soort natuurramp betrof. "Commandant Frank Wuterich heeft bekend dat hij nalatig is geweest."

Nieuws.nl publiceert een bericht van het persbureau Novum/AP, dat ik op dit weblog meermalen noem vanwegen hun anti-islam en pro-Israël propaganda. Deze keer is het ook tenenkrommend: het noemt de oorlogsmisdaad wat zelfs de NOS een "slachting" noemt "plichtsverzuim". De vraag is natuurlijk welke plicht er eigenlijk verzuimd is.

Sp!ts, die dezelfde agenda als Novum hanteert, spant ook hier weer de kroon met haar disinformatie. Het stelt dat Wuterich "betrokken was bij de dood van 24 Iraakse burgers in Haditha" - niet dat hij de bevelen had gegeven, en tevens eigenhandig negen ongewapende burgers heeft vermoord.

Het ANP bericht op Nu.nl dat de oorlogsmisdaad een nalatigheid betrof. "Daarmee is de slepende rechtszaak in de VS over Haditha afgerond." Hetzelfde bericht in de Volkskrant.

Ook de Telegraaf meent dat de commandant "betrokken was bij de dood van 24 Iraakse burgers". "De dood van", alsof de Itakezen zomaar ter plekke dood neervielen, en Wuterich iets met dat fenomeen te maken zou hebben gehad. Maar net als de Gelderlander doet de krant het veel beter dan bovenstaande media: het spreekt van een massamoord, en noemt zelfs de term oorlogsmisdaden - die door Wuterich ontkend worden. Zelfs de overlevenden en familieleden mogen hun woordje doen, en een arts en de advocaat van de familieleden, die een civiele procedure gaan starten. En is er sprake van enige context.

De context dat onze regering deze vuile oorlog, inclusief de Amerikaanse en Britse misdaden, heeft gesteund, zonder VN-mandaat, lezen we in geen enkel bericht terug. Foto's van de slachting zijn ook nergens geplaatst. Bij deze: